While posting some quick reviews on Yelp, I noticed that a Greek restaurant, Rafina, was doing well and had some amazing reviews.
All I could think was, "WTF?" For a place that is empty at least 5 nights a week, HOW can people rave about them? So in all fairness, I wrote about my skepticism and my own experiences.
Here is what I wrote:
The restaurant owner MUST be paying for reviews on this place. It is BEYOND bad. The fish is NOT fresh (believe me, I know this as a FACT) and it is over-priced for portions and quality.
They have a COOK, **not** a chef. This makes a BIG difference. Nothing on the menu is inventive or even worth eating. More importantly, the prices are just WAY over the limit for less than mediocre cuisine.
While I DO like the location because nothing else is in the area, it's not worth my time or money. It's a shame, because the right business model would really get this place going and making money.
Right now, they don't even have a lunch service or a decent menu for the evening.
The reviews here [on Yelp] are VERY sketchy.
I've been here. It's my neighborhood. I WANT Rafina to succeed. But they barely have customers in this place. It's a matter of time until they shut the doors if the owner doesn't get with the program and change the cook to a chef and offer decent, REASONABLY priced meal options -for both lunch and dinner. Brunch would be nice, too... but again, I have no expectations.
Maybe the next owner of the space will have a solid business plan.
Interestingly enough, the owner contacted me via email and was very irate. After his rant and negative tone expressed towards me and my truthful critique, he demanded that I remove my review from Yelp!
Uh, dude. Really?
I'm not about to go back on my word. I know the fish is frozen. I've seen it AND I've tasted it. Rafina has a mediocre cook and charge chef prices. The Loukanika Laconia sausages are too salty and lack flavor, the Saganaki cheese dish is another salt-lick and the feta is out of the fridge, just slammed on a plate. Oh yes, and there's the Keftedakia...meatballs that taste like sawdust, swimming in oil. Sorry, folks, that's just a couple of items off the appetizer list! The main courses are just as atrocious.
I think this place MUST have some sort of gambling ring going on, because I can't see how they can keep their doors open. The place is empty until Friday or Saturday nights... then you might see some bodies due to the live music that they offer, but other than that, you can watch the tumbleweeds roll through there night after night.
Again, it's a shame. I'd LOVE for this place to offer good food at good prices. Really. The waitstaff is fine - no complaints. But then again, when there's NO ONE ELSE IN THE RESTAURANT when you're there, it's easy to get good service.
I let the owner know that I would be happy to write a new review if he gets a decent chef and a good menu. However, I won't be spending any of my time or money at the less than refined Rafina any time soon. And the current review on Yelp: STAYS.
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